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Odysseus' Bravery Essay

715 words - 3 pages

Odysseus, King of Ithaca, and the main character in homer’s The Odyssey, was gone for twenty years before finally returning to his family and his homeland. He struggled through many hardships and lost many loyal companions. The King of Ithaca would not have made it home without the assistance of the Greek gods. Despite all of the help and advice that Odysseus receives from the gods, he is a very brave man because his courage and daring in the cave of the Cyclops, his inability to give up and abandon his men on Circe’s island, and his flawless following of the gods instructions are acts of bravery that is uncommon in most men.
Odysseus’ courage in the cave of the Cyclops Polyphemus banishes his crew’s trepidation and eventually gets them out of there. When Polyphemus returns to the cave after capturing them, Odysseus takes the risk to get the Cyclops’ attention so he can manipulate the one-eyed giant into drinking the potent wine. Odysseus’ bravery is catching and ...view middle of the document...

When the King of Ithaca and his crew land on the mysterious island of the sorceress Circe, half of his men are taken and turned into pigs. Odysseus’ courage abounds because he plans on facing down an immortal goddess to rescue his crew. After the King’s friend, Eurylochus, returns with the news of the fate of the crew, Odysseus demands to be taken to the goddess: “At that I slung the hefty bronze blade of my silver-studded sword around my shoulder, slung my bow on too and told our comrade, ‘Lead me back the way you came.’” (10. 287-290). Eurylochus is not happy with the order as he does not want Odysseus to become a hog, but the King will not take no for an answer. Even though Circe and Odysseus end up being compatible, the courage that it takes for him to decide to defy the sorceress is immense.
Odysseus follows the instructions of the gods no matter how insane or dangerous they sound. Athena instructs Circe to tell Odysseus that he must travel to Hades. Circe tells him, “‘You must travel down to the house of Death and the awesome one, Persephone, there to consult the ghost or Tiresias, seer of Thebes the great blind prophet whose mind remains unshaken.’” (10. 539-542). Even though no one has ever returned from Hades, Odysseus does not protest and follows the grey-eyed goddesses instructions perfectly. It takes a fair amount of courage to do what you believe is impossible. Also, one of the gods detests Odysseus: "But all the gods pitied him except Poseidon; he remained relentlessly angry with godlike Odysseus, until his return to his own country." (1. 19-21). Even with the anger of Poseidon, Odysseus braves the seas to get home. It is clear that the gods’ aid and advice does not make Odysseus less brave.
When Telemachus meets Menelaus, the king of Sparta tells the prince about his father, Odysseus: “’No one, no Achaean (Greek) labored as hard as Odysseus labored or achieved so much,’” (4. 119-120). Odysseus was able to achieve the glory he deserved because of his bravery. The gods may have told Odysseus what to do, but he had to find the courage to carry it out. Also, without the assistance of the gods Odysseus was able to express the same valor in situations such as Polyphemus’ cave or Circe’s island. Odysseus is clearly an abnormally brave man.

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